Cody, Wyoming: Our plan for the day was to travel to Cody - a route that requires another drive through Yellowstone National Park (West Yellowstone, to Madison, to Norris, to Canyon Village, to Fishing Bridge (ironically, fishing is not allowed on Fishing Bridge), then out the east entrance of the park, with Cody beyond. Meaning, we have driven every stretch of todays route - except the portion between Fishing Bridge and Cody - during this four night visit.
We did see two bison though! Traffic came to a complete standstill, so much I was able to get out of my seatbelt, pull the dining table out, open the dining area window and screen, set-up my camera, and click! Boom!
In the Hayden Valley, between Canyon and Fishing Bridge, we saw four Trumpeter Swans. So elegant! So white!
Heading west from Fishing Bridge, we found the second bison walking down the road! On his way to Cody? We think he was British, as he was walking down the middle of the left lane. No photo of this guy.
After the road leaves Yellowstone Lake, it climbs to Sylvan Pass (8530 feet), then takes a five-mile downhill with a heart-stopping sheer-sided rocky drop-off, plunging hundreds of feet to a river. This section of the road must be an engineering masterpiece. Probably not too scary in a car, where a view over the rock-wall guard rail is impossible, but from my high perch in the passenger seat, I had a clear view of the danger - and I’m not afraid of heights. I was happy when we reached the flatlands… mind you, the East gate to the park is still 6951 feet above sea level.
We made our lunch camp at a large turnout along the Shoshone River. There was an informational sign explaining how the sandstone cliffs above the river resemble the skyline of Jerusalem, but did not explain how the ancient Shoshone knew what the skyline of Jerusalem looked like (ha, ha). A very pretty vista for our salads, but too windy to eat outside.
A few miles before arriving to Cody, we passed Buffalo Bill State Park - a massive reservoir with several nice campgrounds and boating. How quickly the scenery changed from the green of Yellowstone National Park, to the sage brush desert around Cody.
We checked-into our RV park and drove into town. We have not been to Cody for years, and it doesn't look like a lot has changed. We strolled around, looked into a few shops and made a reservation for dinner at the Cody Steakhouse.
After dinner, we were planning to attend the nightly Cody Rodeo... but a huge thunderstorm came through at dinner time and we decided to try the rodeo tomorrow night... when another (nightly) thunderstorm is predicted to roll through Cody. Honestly, we weren't expecting much as the restaurant was more casual than a normal steakhouse, but it has been a very long time since I have had a filet this tender (that I did not cook myownself).
The presentation was seriously lacking, but the food delivered. Never mind the broccoli, carrot puree (sweet), and pickled red cabbage (why?), the tater and steak were wonderful. My martini was perfect, and our server, Kelsey, was great. The restaurant was packed with fellow tourists, most dressed as they have just come off the trail or a river from fishing... another sign this is not your regular steak house. (However, the prices were regular steak house prices.) Dinner came with salad as well.
My Driver ordered the ribeye, and it also came with a baked potato and the three odd vegetable sides. Most of our steaks came home with us (wrapped up in the gold foil they use for the baked potatoes). I am thinking some-sort-of beef + potato + carrot + onion stew in the slow cooker while we are driving from some-where to some-where-else?
Tomorrow we will visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West... and tomorrow you will learn why we are here. Until my next update, I remain, your Cody correspondent.